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Ms. Koeltzow's Five Sentences

Movie: Peter Pan / TV Show: Friends / Book: The Serpent of Venice / Song: "Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise" by The Avett Brothers / Extra: Harry Potter

To die will be an awfully big adventure.
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To die will be an awfully big adventure.

Peter Pan is one of my favorite stories, and this sentence is my favorite line. It represents what I love about the play: it is a tragedy, pretending to be a romance, wrapped in an adventure story. It is the tale of growing up, which is both exciting and sad. The sentence begins with death, putting it in the verb form "to die." It is therefore an active thing that we do, not something that happens to us. But Peter puts it in the future tense when he says what it "will" be, even though he is facing death imminently when he says this line. He equates death with adventure, the thing Peter values most in the world. Finally, he describes this adventure as "awfully big." "Big" shows the weight of the adventure, the size of the thrill. "Awfully" is an interesting adverb because it can mean two things: 1) something bad, terrifying, and upsetting, or 2) something inspiring awe or wonder. I think Peter means both in this sentence, one of the reasons why I like it.

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They don't know we know they know we know.
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They don't know we know they know we know.

"Friends" is one of my favorite TV shows, and this episode, "The One Where Everybody Finds Out," is my favorite episode. This sentence is hilarious, largely because it is something repeated through the episode, as everyone learns of Monica and Chandler's secret relationship. They try to trick each other into revealing what they know, and end up in circles of who knows what. It's easy to get lost in who knows what, not just in this sentence, but in the whole episode.

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Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise - The Avett Brothers
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Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise - The Avett Brothers

"When nothing is owed or deserved or expected
and your life doesn't change by the man that's elected,
if you're loved by someone you're never rejected;
decide what to be and go be it."

The sentence from this song is important to me both for its meaning and also for who sings it. The Avett Brothers are my favorite band, from my home state of North Carolina, and I've seen them countless times in concert, both in Europe and America. This sentence uses words like "owed," "deserved," and "expected" to show your relationship with the world: it owes you nothing, you deserve nothing from it, and you can expect nothing from it. This apathy extends in the next part of the sentence to "the man that's elected," showing that even in a democracy, you may not be able to count on your government. But, the sentence twists in the third line. The first two establish the "when" of life: when things are unreliable and the world doesn't care about you. The "if" of the third line brings the relief: if you have love, you can get through anything. The fourth line take the circumstances of the first three and turns them into a command: no matter how bad things are, value the love you have and do something with it. Make a decision and then execute that decision. Do something.

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The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore
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The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore

"Strangely, although most of the characters are Venetian, everybody speaks English, and with an English accent."

One of my favorite authors is a humor writer of absurdist fiction: Christopher Moore. He points out ridiculousness in everyday life through weird and hilarious stories. Sometimes, he takes on classic texts, like those of Shakespeare, and he rewrites them. This sentence is taken from one of his novels that is a mash up of two Shakespearean plays, Othello and the Merchant of Venice. The sentence uses punctuation well, because if you read it out loud and pause at every comma, the humor comes through quite easily. I especially like the last bit, "and with an English accent." When people read Shakespeare, they often do it with an English accent, but loads of his plays don't take place in England. His most famous ones don't. Romeo and Juliet is in Italy. Hamlet is in Denmark. Macbeth is in Scotland, where they do speak English, but they definitely don't have an English accent.

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spiritualcleansing.org

I was ten when the first Harry Potter book was published, and 20 when the final book came out. I grew up on the novels and midnight movie releases. This sentence is one of my favorites of the whole series, all 4000 pages. The sentence feature most interesting to me is the structure. It contains two phrases, and both only hold full meaning when they are put together. The idea that something can be imagined and real at the same time is empowering.

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